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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

312

THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

the written sign is associated with that of the pronunciation of
the sounds, and the two languages, written and spoken, are asso-
ciated together. The pronunciation is instigated by the sign, by
the alphabetic vision as well as by hearing.

FIG. 6

The association set up is represented by the two triangles in
fig. 6, UVMm and UVMly which have the same base in the asso-
ciation between the two sense-centres, that is the auditory centre
of the spoken word and the visual centre of the written word,
whilst the apices correspond respectively to the two motor centres,
one of spoken language (Ml) and the other of written language
{Mm).

The lesson, as is well known, represents only a detail of initia-
tion and enlightenment in comparison with the great work of the
child, which consists of innumerable repetitions of the same exer-
cise. When the child continues to trace the sandpaper letters for
a long time, remembering the sound of them and pronouncing
them to himself, he ends by establishing mechanically an association
between the alphabet and the component sounds of the words.

The length of such exercises constitutes a real period of develop-
ment by the fixation of the visual images of the letters of the
alphabet, of the images of the movements necessary to reproduce